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  1. #1
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    Help on Oil Painting Portrait

    Hello all, I'm working on a oil painting of myself as a clown, but something just isn't right....

    I've got it sketched on there, and I was happy with it at first, but now it seems like something is waaaay off.
    I'm hoping you all can help me out with it and tell me what needs to be changed or fixed.
    I had the biggest problems with the face, legs, hands, and feet... Okay, problems with nearly everything.
    I am pretty bad at drawing large scale, but I want to get better at it.
    Although I'm sure the face is going to turn out different when I actually paint it because that's what usually happens...

    Anyways I took some pictures yesterday. My camera was giving me some big problems, so these pictures aren't the best but you can still see it.
    Its a big painting, 24"x48".
    I have the reference pictures at the bottom.
    Help on Oil Painting Portrait
    Help on Oil Painting Portrait
    Help on Oil Painting Portrait
    Help on Oil Painting Portrait
    Help on Oil Painting Portrait

    References:
    Help on Oil Painting Portrait
    Help on Oil Painting Portrait
    Now I know these references of myself aren't as clear as they could be... But we tried (my mom and I) and it helps. xD
    Oh yeah, and I added the ruffled neck collar.



    Also, if you have any tips on oil painting (this isn't my first try or nothing, I'm just always wanting to learn more) or any techniques to share I'd love to see them.
    I am a bit worried about the background, I have limited paint supplies so I try to be as conservative as I can be but it just doesn't look like I have enough paint on there...

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  3. #2
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    I think its coming along fine. The issue is, where do you go from here.. how do you proceed.

    A lot of times when you start painting over an underdrawing, the under drawing gets lost as you go and then you get lost.

    So you really need to come up with a good plan for making this painting work.

    One of the best ways that painters use, is to work from dark to light. YOu can do a lot of your drawing with dark areas. You'd be surprised. (Not super dark areas, but various brown colors and shades)

    So you essentially re-do a lot of the linework with dark paint...

    Put on dark paint VERY THINLY!!! You will run into major problems if it gets too goopy on your canvas too early.

    So you work from dark to light... and you keep the paint thin so you don't get lost in the goopy-ness.

    Another thing that you can do is to look at the colors you want to match from your photo and PRE MIX those colors. Often times when you put a color on canvas, especially white canvas... it will look wrong. Its just weird like that.

    A correct color will look correct next to other correct colors, but a correct color next to an incorrect color (like the white of the canvas) will look wrong. Every color only works in relation to all the other colors.

    But if you pre-mix the color accurately... when you put it down it will still look wrong... but you'll know its right anyway. So then you can move on to the next premixed color and put that down next to it and then both will look right. (Because again, a correct color only looks right next to other correct colors)

    EDIT: ALWAYS BE WIPING OFF YOUR BRUSHES!! Any color left on a brush will mess up the next color you go for. So by keeping your brushes clean, you help keep your color the way you want it. Also... if you use a certain brush for dark colors, try to keep using it for dark colors. Similarly, if you use certain brushes for light colors, try to keep using them for light colors throughout the painting process (just because a little touch of white accidentally left on a brush can totally ruin a dark color or dark mixture. And the same goes the other way, a little dark can significantly darken a very light color. It really doesn't take much color AT ALL to make pure white paint into gray or brown. So be very clean with your brushes as you go along.

    Good luck
    kev

    At least Icarus tried!


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  5. #3
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    ODISAP is offline about 10% of people in CA dont know what to type in this section
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    I like the background

    I suggest that you use some green to match up with the red

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    WOW, thanks for all the advice kev!

    I always get so nervous when I start to paint the actual subject...
    Backgrounds can most times be a relaxed walk in the park, unless its meant to be elaborate or something.

    I will try the dark to light method. Do I paint it down as a base color or do you mean just the lineart?

    I was wondering about how I was going to incorporate the colors on the picture to my canvas... My mom told me I could change some colors like my clothes colors, but I'm not sure...

    Anyways so I guess there isn't any noticable anatomy problems or anything like that? I was worried about the hands maybe being too small, or something like that. I'm really worried about how my feet are because in the picture its hard to draw them like that. xD

    Thanks for the brush tips.

    @ ODISAP: Yeah, I may bring some green into the background part that isn't colored yet. If not, I'll try and work it somewhere in there.
    EDIT: Hmm, I'm now thinking about putting some green in my clothes instead.

    Last edited by Queen Nehalania; November 26th, 2007 at 07:38 PM.
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  7. #5
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    Hi Queen, I think this is going along great
    I can tell evan from the small number of stuf that you'vr posted, that your art is really inproving!

    Kev has givin some really good advice, so try to follow what hes said, and no Idont think there are any noticable anatomy problems to speak of, but I would be carefull of the left foot [our right]

    Good luck, this one looks like it could be fun!

    matt

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  9. #6
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    Awww thank you!!! That's so great to hear.

    It is pretty fun, I got the background done tonight and now I'm calling it a day.


    Last edited by Queen Nehalania; November 26th, 2007 at 09:08 PM.
    ~ '
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    Will update sometime soon.
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  10. #7
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    First draw the lineart in very thin (un-goopy) brown. Then look at your photo and determine what your second darkest color is (the outline would be first darkest). Mix that color. And then brush that color where it goes on your picture in the exact same shape that the color appears in the photo. This same color might appear elsewhere in the picture, so go ahead and put it wherever it looks like it goes.

    Then wipe off your brush. And figure out what the third darkest color is, mix that, apply that where it goes... keep repeating this step for all the colored shapes that you see on the photo (you will have to analyze the photo and then sorta think of the shapes a little bit more geometrically and clear than they appear on the photo. You can always blend one shape into another later on..)... so as you repeat these steps, you will working with lighter and lighter colors, as you work your way out of the dark colors and into the "mid-tones" which are the medium-level dark colors (which tend to be the most colorful colors in a picture) until finally you end up in light areas and then your last few brush strokes should be dabs of maybe pure white for highlights.

    So, to answer your question, you aren't really filling the whole canvas at once with some kind of base color (although that's a method that some use.) You're filling in certain shapes, one at a time, with "base colors" that correspond with color-shapes that appear in the photo reference.

    Later on, by the way, you can paint over some of the thin brown outlines you put in there. But its good to keep them as long as possible to guide you as you make a picture.

    Oh... have a mirror handy to check out your work as it progresses. Look at the photo in the mirror. And your picture. This will help in spotting errors. As you work on a work of art, for some reason, you stop being able to see it clearly. So you have to check it in the mirror, in order to see it as it truly appears.

    Good luck
    kev

    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

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  11. #8
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    Thank you so much for the information!

    Now that I have a better understanding of that it puts me more at ease.
    I'll give this method a go and see what turns out.
    I hope that it works and I hope that it's a method I can use throughout my paintings because I'll be doing more of them.

    I honestly appreciate all of your helpful advice, I'm so glad that I finally posted on this site instead of just lurking. xD

    ~ '
    ~

    Will update sometime soon.
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    This site is the shit. Don't stop posting.

    About those hands. Maybe they're a bit small, but I don't think that's the problem. They don't seem to have any boney structure to them. They're a bit like sausages. Either try to analyze the structure of the hand a bit more, maybe do separate ref pics for them, and work a bit more on them, or keep it as it is and remember to look hands up in some anatomy book for your next piece.

    Also, don't be afraid of the paint. Be bold. If you make a mistake, you can fix it up later. If you can't fix it, you've learnt your lesson until next time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serpian View Post
    Also, don't be afraid of the paint. Be bold. If you make a mistake, you can fix it up later. If you can't fix it, you've learnt your lesson until next time.
    This is great advice! Oil paint is a joy to work with because if you do make a mistake the you can blend it out or you can always take a turps-ie cloth to it if your really unhappy!
    I myself block in the colours then blend the tones and values in there, it makes it nice and smooth.

    Watch your hands, they seem quite lumpy. Try drawing them a few times in your sketch book to get used to the shapes, and help your observation skills! The more you draw them the easier it will become to translate from life to drawing.

    Hope any of that helps.

    [CENTER]My Sketchbook!
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  14. #11
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    Thank you both!

    I'll try and fix the hands because I was worried about them.
    I just lightly sketched an outline, but I'll do some re-shaping and try to make them more lifelike.
    Hopefully when I start painting them they'll turn out better.

    Aaah neat, I forgot about the turpentine.
    Thanks for the advice.

    ~ '
    ~

    Will update sometime soon.
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    oh hey this is looking good, not sure if it's been pointed out before, it looks like theres a bit of oil on the background. did you put alot of linseed oil on the paint? sometimes when you do that it's difficult to make newer layers of paint stick to that.
    get some turpinoid and go over the outlines of your paint and then do a very thin wash to give the whites of the canvas a slight tint. it's easier to work with than on white. (easier to compare shapes)
    don't be afraid to lose some of the details you have in your pencil, you'll get them back with the oil paint. go over it and as long as you have the reference handy you can always repaint the bits.

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  16. #13
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    Hi Queen, any chance of an up-date with some more pixs, I'd love to see how this is going!

    And theres some bloody good advice said here, and I know its a lot to take in, but just keep painting with all these great tips in mind, and if you do anything you dont like just paint over it, thats the great thing with oils.

    So dont ever be afriad paint ,and good luck

    :
    In the absence of light, dark will prevail.

    see my NEW sketchbook[UPDATED] http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=123027
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  17. #14
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    @ jrr: I use liquin, although am I supposed to use linseed oil too?

    I thought about going over the top part of the background again, but I'm not sure yet. So far I got the whole background covered.
    Hmm, turpinoid... Sounds familiar, I don't think I've used it before though.
    I'll look into it though.
    And thank you for the advice.

    @ JailHouseRock: I'll work a bit more tomorrow and take some pics hopefully. xD
    Today I was working on a sketch that I got finished and it's posted in my sketchbook.
    It's an improvement.
    Yep, oils are great for that just sometimes I guess I'm too much of a scardycat.

    ~ '
    ~

    Will update sometime soon.
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  18. #15
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    Hi, hows this painting going then?

    :
    In the absence of light, dark will prevail.

    see my NEW sketchbook[UPDATED] http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=123027
    Trained by...
    http://www.thedrawingstudio.co.nz/
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  19. #16
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    Wow there's a lot of chit-chat in this thread.

    Where's the updates?

    Sepulverture's Sketchbook Page 1 Page 19
    Sepulvertures Extended Studies Page 1
    page 2

    Tutorials Tips and Tricks needs you to stay alive!"
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  20. #17
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    [QUOTE=Sepulverture;1562957]Wow there's a lot of chit-chat in this thread.

    Where's the updates?[/QUOT


    I agree

    :
    In the absence of light, dark will prevail.

    see my NEW sketchbook[UPDATED] http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=123027
    Trained by...
    http://www.thedrawingstudio.co.nz/
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